Advanced Lab Courses

Biology offers a number of advanced labs.  These courses provide hands on training in practical and theoretical aspects of many basic and advanced tools and techniques used in research labs; they also help to develop critical thinking and problem solving, as well as excellent oral and written scientific communication skills.  These are courses that most potential supervisors in MCIB (i.e. Molecular, Cell and Integrated Biology) and many in EEB (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) research hope to see on your academic transcript.  If you are considering applying for a lab volunteer or summer research (e.g. SWEP) position, a BIOL537 thesis project in your 4th year, and possibly continuing with graduate (MSc/PhD) studies and research then you should plan to take as many of the following courses as possible. They are often taken in year #3 of the BSc program, but some Biology undergrads have also completed them during year #2 and/or year #4 of their BSc.

BIOL 401/3.0 units   Experimental Approaches to Animal Physiology
Normally offered in the fall term and focuses on experimental approaches to understanding the principles of animal physiology.

BIOL 402/3.0 units   Experiments in Plant Physiology
Normally offered during the winter term this course focusses on mainly molecular biology (DNA/RNA) and biochemical (ENZ and protein) assays/techniques.

BIOL 403/3.0 units   Experimental Techniques in Biology
Self‐directed and self‐selected hands‐on experimental techniques used in fundamental biology research, biotechnologies, and medical sciences.

BIOL 404/3.0 units   Techniques in Molecular Biology
Intensive laboratory work (8h/day) to be carried out over two and a half weeks in May. Practical work includes DNA isolations, DNA cloning, PCR, production of proteins, biochemical and immunological analysis of proteins.

Please visit the course web pages for full details.

I've spent more time than many will believe [making microscopic observations], but I've done them with joy, and I've taken no notice those who have said why take so much trouble and what good is it?

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

It's a parts list... If I gave you the parts list for the Boeing 777 and it had 100,000 parts, I don't think you could screw it together and you certainly wouldn't understand why it flew

Eric Lander

What is true for E. coli is also true for the elephant

Jacques Monod

The world becomes full of organisms that have what it takes to become ancestors. That, in a sentence, is Darwinism

Richard Dawkins

Shall we conjecture that one and the same kind of living filaments is and has been the cause of all organic life?

Erasmus Darwin

Nature proceeds little by little from things lifeless to animal life in such a way that it's impossible to determine the line of demarcation


Cells let us walk, talk, think, make love, and realize the bath water is cold

Lorraine Lee Cudmore

In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history

Charles Darwin

It is my belief that the basic knowledge that we're providing to the world will have a profound impact on the human condition and the treatments for disease and our view of our place on the biological continuum

J. Craig Venter

Imagine a house coming together spontaneously from all the information contained in the bricks: that is how animal bodies are made

Neil Shubin

A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct

Charles Darwin

The stuff of life turned out to be not a quivering, glowing, wondrous gel but a contraption of tiny jigs, springs, hinges, rods, sheets, magnets, zippers, and trapdoors, assembled by a data tape whose information is copied, downloaded and scanned

Steven Pinker

We wish to discuss a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid. (D.N.A.). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biologic interest

Rosalind Franklin

We are biology. We are reminded of this at the beginning and the end, at birth and at death. In between we do what we can to forget

Mary Roach

The systems approach to biology will be the dominant theme in medicine

Leroy Hood

I've always been interested in animal behavior, and I keep reading about it because it's so surprising all the time - so many things are happening around us that we neglect to look at. Part of the passion I have for biology is based on this wonderment"

Isabella Rossellini

Because all of biology is connected, one can often make a breakthrough with an organism that exaggerates a particular phenomenon, and later explore the generality

Thomas Cech

Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution

Theodosius Dobzhansky

Biology is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century

- Freeman Dyson

Nothing can be more incorrect than the assumption one sometimes meets with, that physics has one method, chemistry another, and biology a third

- Thomas Huxley